I was recently laid off.
It was from a job I mostly liked, so I was surprised to discover how truly happy I am to be away from it.
I have free time now. Lots and lots of it. I can read, I can blog, I can spend time with my husband (when he’s not at work). It’s amazing and wonderful and I love it.
I do have to be more careful with the expenses, of course, but I don’t mind that at all. Which has me wondering why, if it’s so obvious that time is what I value most in this life, have I spent so much of my adult life worrying about money?
There is no good answer to that question, except ‘Stop!’ Which is exactly what I’ve decided to do.
This lay-off has been just the jostling I needed, one of those fortuitous potholes on the road of life, that left me winded, but smarter.
I was helped along by this post from 43 Folders, in which he posits the claim that priorities cannot be set, they can only be observed. It’s a brilliant piece and I highly recommend you take the time to read it. I keep rereading it. And reordering my life according the few priorities I have observed in myself: Time and People.
And yes, I will need to find ways to make enough money to keep body and soul together to meet that Time thing. And to be able to afford to feed some of the People in my life (yeah, Food always has a way of sneaking in there as a priority in itself). But when making the Money precludes being able to spend the Time with the People (with or without the Food), then I’ve screwed things up and need to give it all another try.
And I think most of us actually feel that way. Most of us if given the impossible, theoretical choices of, say, being a millionaire but dying at 50, or having enough to get by and living to, 80, would plump for the long life.
Or, given the choice between spending a long luxurious afternoon in bed with the one we love the most or an extra, unnecessary, five hundred bucks would, I hope, opt for the afternoon in bed. I know I would.
So why do we get so caught up in chasing money? Why do I? Why do you?